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Hardwood Flooring Adhesive You Should Buy

the hardwood floor adhesive you should buyThe type of adhesive you will use to install your hardwood flooring will depend on the installation method you plan to use. Some choose to install flooring over a plywood subfloor while others may choose to install directly over concrete if they are on a concrete slab foundation. Most professionals will advise against gluing solid hardwood, as the preferred method of installation is to nail it down.

Learn more about what types of adhesive and installation tools are needed to successfully install your hardwood floor by clicking here!

When purchasing your hardwood flooring, it makes sense to ask the supplier if there is a specific type of adhesive you should use when installing and to purchase it at the same time. Some manufacturers will suggest only using the adhesive they recommend in order to not void any warranties that may be associated with the flooring. Other manufacturers may not have a specific brand that they recommend, but they will recommend a specific type of glue.

It is important not to skimp on the adhesive because of its cost, as it may result in problems with your floor’s installation. While the problems might not occur right away, they will likely occur later on.

Types of Adhesives on the Market

There are several different varieties of adhesives on the market today for hardwood flooring with each having their own characteristics. For the most part, you will find these glues falling into two categories: urethane-based adhesives and water-based adhesives. Once again, it cannot be stressed enough to choose the one that is recommended by the manufacturer for the best results with your installation.

Urethane-Based Adhesives

hardwood floor adhesive you should buyUrethane-based adhesives are the most widely used for hardwood floor installations. Within this category, you need to be sure you are purchasing the correct adhesive for the type of flooring you are installing. Some are specifically made for solid hardwood flooring, while others are made for engineered flooring that only has a thin layer of hardwood on top of other wood materials. Popular brands–although we are not recommending any specific one–include Bostik, Sika, DriTac, and Mapei, among the various offerings.

Working with urethane-based adhesives can be a little messy and it is imperative that you clean up any spills or excess that may seep up between the boards immediately. It is important when working with this glue to clean your tools daily because once it dries and cures, it is extremely difficult to remove. You will need to clean with mineral spirits in order to completely clean up from this adhesive. Bostik offers presoaked wipes that can be used for cleanups.

Water-Based Adhesives

Adhesives that are water-based are geared toward engineered floors rather than solid hardwood floors. They are also ideal for gluing down larger boards. Most manufacturers of engineered flooring will advise that you use a water-based adhesive when installing this type of flooring because it is much more forgiving than a urethane-based adhesive.

The industry leader and most widely used brand appears to be the adhesive offered by DriTec.

the kind hardwood flooring adhesive you should buyWhen gluing floorboards, it is always recommended to place your board directly next to the boards it will be touching instead of dropping it and sliding it into place. In the event you are slightly off, a water-based adhesive will allow you to slide the board to properly engage the tongue and groove to where it needs to be. Urethane-based adhesives will not allow for much flexibility in this area.

The cleanup for water-based adhesives is a lot easier than for urethane-based ones. You can simply wipe up any seepage or clean up your tools with a wet rag, provided the adhesive has not set. Once it has set or cured, you will need to clean with mineral spirits.

The Banana Effect

One advantage that water-based adhesives have over urethane-based adhesives is that, even though they may appear to be dry, they still retain their tackiness. This is important for what is known as the “banana effect” with flooring that occurs when the floorboards have not properly adhered to the adhesive.

If the “banana effect” occurs with flooring installed with a urethane-based adhesive, you will most likely find yourself having to take up the floorboard, clean up the cured adhesive, and then reinstall with fresh adhesive.

With water-based adhesives, however, all you need to do is weight down the area that has not properly adhered and the adhesive will grab the wood again.

Low VOC Adhesives

the hardwood flooring adhesive you should buyYou may have some concerns over the amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are present in the adhesives used for installing hardwood flooring. VOCs are found in many building supplies, adhesives, paints, and cleaners. This may lead you to wonder what they are and what are the risks associated with them.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines VOCs as gases that are produced from chemical compounds and released into the air over time. They may not present any harm during short-term exposure; however, long-term exposure has the potential to adversely affect your health over time.

Because of this, the EPA has issued warnings to limit your exposure to VOCs, but has not issued any standards by law to control their presence in non-industrial settings. It has been found that you are exposed to two to five more times the amount of VOCs in your own home than if you were outside.

Many manufacturers have taken heed to the warnings issued by the EPA and responded to customer’s concerns. They now offer low VOC versions of their adhesives that have lowered levels of these compounds in them. VOCs are mainly found in urethane-based adhesives and the water-based variety.

kind of hardwood flooring adhesive you should buyAs people become more aware of chemicals that are dangerous to not just their family’s health and well-being, but to the environment as well, the push is on for more availability of eco-friendly alternatives. To learn more about these alternatives, check out for ways to make the installation of your hardwood flooring more ecologically sound.

Surface Preparation Is Key

Before installing your new hardwood flooring, you will need to make sure that the surface you will be adhering it to is free of any debris or dried glue. It may not be easy to do but it is not impossible, and it is an important step to insuring that your flooring will adhere properly.

There are two very easy methods to remove dried on glue:

  • kind of hardwood floor adhesive you should buyPlace about a half a pound of dry ice in an old metal tray and place it on the dried glue. After a minute or so, remove the tray and place on the next spot to be removed. Go back to the first spot and you will see that it is now frozen and can easily be scraped away with the sharp edge of a scraper. If you do not have dry ice, you can heat the glue spot with a hair drying until it becomes soft. At this point, you should then be able to scrape it away.
  • Cleaning website, also recommend using WD-40.

Alternative Types of Installation

There are alternative methods to installing your hardwood floor if you would prefer not to install it with adhesive. You may also want to avoid doing a glue installation if you plan to install over a concrete slab, unless you plan to install a plywood subfloor. In that case, you may also want to consider nailing down your floorboards as that is the preferred method of installation for hardwood flooring. If not, just be sure to select the proper adhesive for the method you choose.

hardwood flooring adhesive you should buyIf neither the gluing or nailing installation methods are appealing to you, you might want to consider forgoing actual solid hardwood flooring and opting for click-lock flooring, which can still offer you the look of hardwood flooring without the need for adhesives or nails.

Keep in mind that this type of flooring does not offer the long life that is possible with hardwood flooring. The layer of hardwood that is used in the manufacturing of click-lock flooring is too thin to be sanded down and refinished.

You can always consider calling in a professional to install your hardwood flooring. A professional installer can advise you of the pros and cons of the different installation methods based on the existing structure of your home. This will also alleviate any concerns or fears you may have about performing this task on your own.

For those of you who are skilled do-it-yourselfers or have a sense of adventure and enjoy learning new skills, then installing your hardwood flooring can be a rewarding experience.

You may find that the manufacturer-recommended adhesive is more costly than an adhesive that you can purchase from your local big box store.

However, if you go the cheap route, you may find yourself with a floor that will not probably adhere. This means you may have to redo your installation and have the added work of removing the newly applied adhesive. So in the long run, it is best to “stick” with what is recommended.

Find the best adhesive for your hardwood flooring as recommended by our experts by visiting our website now!

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